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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Let Freedom Bloom While Celebrating Our Nation's Birthday With Outback Steakhouse #BestMates!

I've always wanted to be in the military, but maybe it wasn't a passion. If it was, then I probably would have headed that direction while in my country.

Even now, I still have the desire to do the training and serve. I think I would do well in Israel where it's mandatory. I like that about their country.

It's no surprise then, that most of my extended family is in or has served in the military. I feel honored to know them.

That is why it's so much fun to share some fun ways Outback Steakhouse is helping our military families this year!

Outback Steakhouse will honor our nation's birthday by letting freedom bloom. Visit any Outback location in the 50 states and tell your server to “let freedom bloom” and you’ll receive a FREE Bloomin’ Onion to share with your friends and family at the table.

outback, bloomin onion, military mates, military, operation homefront
Content and/or other value provided by out partner, Outback Steakhouse.

Outback Steakhouse will honor our nation's heroes with 10% off the entire check at Outback when they come in for lunch or dinner valid from May 27- July 4, 2013.

outback, bloomin onion, military mates, military, operation homefront
Content and/or other value provided by out partner, Outback Steakhouse.

How do you celebrate Independence Day?

About Operation Homefront
Outback began its partnership with Operation Homefront more than three years ago to enhance its support to our nation’s troops. Since 2010, Outback has donated over two million dollars to support Operation Homefront.

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 6,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has met more than 741,000 needs of military families since its inception in 2002.  A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.

I have been promised a $20 Outback GC to share this event.

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Friday, June 28, 2013

#Win $500 In The Have It Your Way July #Giveaway

It's almost back to school and the #Win $500 in The Have It Your Way July #Giveaway Event would be awesome for our family. We are broke! Broke to panic, but why should I allow panic. Let's just pray I'll have a good job soon.

Now come enter to win and share with your friends!
Have It Your Way GiveawayWelcome to the Have It Your Way Giveaway!
Hosted by
Co-Hosted by

What would you do with $500 right now? Are you even putting school supplies on the radar? 

Before we get started, have you heard of Sweepstake!Max? If not you're missing out! It's the easiest way to find all the good giveaways, contests and sweepstakes around the web. Bloggers, don't forget you can list your giveaways there too! Sweepstakes!Max is the newest, hottest way to enter sweepstakes.

They truly took it one step further, and made the process that much easier for those of you who like to enter. Head on over and check them out at SweepstakesMax.com.

Giveaway will go live on 6/28, 2013 at 12:01 EST and run until 7/31/2013 at 11:59pm EST. One lucky person will choose their prize valued at $500. Winner can choose anything they like valued up to $500, with the exception of PayPal Cash. If you choose an item where shipping is included, please note that you prize is only $500 and you will be responsible for any shipping costs above $500.

Giveaway is open Worldwide, must be 18 years old to enter, and use the Rafflecopter form below.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this giveaway, not am I responsible for shipment of prize. This event is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media platform. Social media platforms are in no way responsible for shipment of prize. For full disclosure see Rafflecopter. If you have any questions, or are interested in running a giveaway campaign please feel free to contact Jenn from JennsBlahBlahBlog at jenn@jennsblahblahblog.com.

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 

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Her Honor's Bodyguard #Book Blast + $50 Amazon Gift Card

I haven't been reading much lately. It seems life is putting a crushing on my heart and it makes it hard to focus on my beloved books.
But soon again, I know I'll embrace my Nook.

Come let's have fun in the Her Honor's Bodyguard #Book Blast + $50 Amazon Gift Card! Share and enter again each day!

Her Honor's Bodyguard

by Johnny Ray   Do first loves ever really die? While reunions can take many forms, there is always one question that has to be answered sooner or later—what happened?

Vance had always been extremely proud of Noella, and just because his life had been ruined, he saw no reason why she had to have the same faith. When his dad died, leaving him and his mother penniless, he dropped out of law school and ended his relationship with Noella, but in doing so, he stopped a scandal that could have ruined her family.

These secrets he would never let her know. Ironically, years later, he would have never guessed she would be instrumental in ruining his career with the Tampa police force. After Noella finished law school and started pursuing her goal of working up the ranks in judgeships, she never considered inviting another guy into her life.

As such, when someone attempts to threaten her into vacating her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary, she knows of no one else she really trust as much as Vance, who now has a successful bodyguard and private detective business.

She knows that Vance might hate her for her part in having him dismissed from the police force, but what he will never know is that she actually saved him from going to prison. Additionally, she now thinks he was framed, and perhaps by the same people who are threatening her. She had to talk him into taking her on as a client . . . but would he agree to her request? As the number of attacks on her life increases, Vance soon has no choice but to offer her his protection, and in spite of everything, when they see each other again their old attraction for each other returns.

She wants the truth. He wants the truth. However, making the ultimate sacrifice is not always easy to understand, whether given or received. Ultimately . . . could they now trust each other with these secrets? While their lives depend on discovering the truth to their past, these truths are locked in deep secrets that could also destroy them.

Buy on Amazon

About the Author:
Johnny Ray has a passion for life and adventure that he loves to share with his readers. As an avid traveler and professional businessman conducting business worldwide for years he has made many interesting contacts and received numerous awards for top production. He has owned and operated several real estate companies, several insurance companies, and a stock brokerage company.

He loves radio and TV talk shows, as well as speaking in front of various audiences. Feel free to contact him if you need a guest speaker. When it comes time to play, he is very active in many sports including dancing, swimming, tennis, biking, and skiing.

While he loves adventures that are new, interesting and challenging, making friends that share his passions is a special gift. Johnny lives in Clearwater, Florida where he works full time as a writer, and he can be often found in one of the hundreds of coffee shops along the beach working on his next novel. He belongs to the Florida Writer Association where he recently won the Royal Palm Literary Award for best thriller, the Romantic Writers of America, and the Mystery Writers Association.

He attends various national writer conventions throughout the year, as well as several local writing groups in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Follow Johnny: Website | FaceBook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Literary Addicts

  Prize: $50 Amazon CardFill out the form to Enter. Open INT
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Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Oooh That's My Song! - #Music

I'm not a sappy romantic, but I think couples should have certain songs together that is special for them. Maybe one song that makes you do that look or move when you hear it together, or a CD full of songs that you play whenever!

I would have loved if my husband and I had a song or a bunch of songs for us. I LOVE music! It's something that speaks to me, no matter what I'm going through, but maybe he doesn't like music that way. However, he does proclaim to love a variety of music and listens to music from different languages and cultures.

But then again we didn't even dance at our wedding, and let's not start on how much I LOVE to dance! I still can't believe we didn't dance!!!!

Anyway, I do not see how I could have just one song. It's like saying I need to have one favorite book. Never gonna happen! For me, it would have to be a CD....or two..three...*shakes head*

Most couples have a song that is "their song." What is yours?
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We've been missing Aloha Friday. If you are missing it, then do hang out with Pamela - and I and we'll visit y'all too.
You can also take part in Amanda's Two Question Thursday which is going strong many years now.

We'll continue in honor of Kailani's fun rules: 
“Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your Aloha Friday post link below. Also, please consider linking back to this post so that others can join in, too! Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!” – Kailani

For more Wordless/Wordful Wednesdays check out Judy's Thoughts and 5 minutes for moms, and Parenting by Dummies and Go Graham Go and Stacy Uncorke

  
And we are doing the Sillies of course :)
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Read more on Laughter

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Polly Pocket - Polly Zipline Adventure Pool and Polly Tree House Set

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Polly Pocket. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

The Polly Pocket package was hot off the floor,  not even a hour from the mailman, and the kids were begging for it to be opened!

I obliged and they squealed and they are in love. I hear the boy exclaimed that he wanted to play with them with his sister! She reminds him that they are for girls. Haha. It's on!

When I have to assemble any toy, I'm usually very nervous that I'll mess up. I assemble meticulously and hope for perfection and satisfaction.

However, the Polly Pocket Polly Tree House Set was very easy to assemble and now all that's left is to hope that baby girl will continue to play nice and not snap it off the wall! Let's hope Command delivers :)
Polly Pocket Wall Party Tree House PlaysetPolly Pocket Zip 'N Splash Playset
Polly is a great toy to inspire imaginative play, and you can bet my daughter who teaches her own class of students in her room, does have a big imagination!

I'm pretty sure your child would love such a surprise. Shop at your convenience and brighten your little one's day with a Polly surprise!

Did you play with Polly Pockets as a child?



“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Polly Pocket. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Gotta Move With VBS - Awesome #Music And Praise With Kids - Day 1

VBS will be from June 17-21

Gotta Move With VBS - Awesome #Music And Praise With Kids - Day 1 is going on at our church all this week and it's something fierce!

June 17
This was my first day of having my own class of kids. They are ages five and six. I have quite a few volunteers and we are all working very well. My volunteers are teens and seem rather calm. I keep wondering if they are bored out of their minds! :) They seem genuinely interested and caring and I feel their spirits as calm.

Our lesson was about Noah.
Craft: Fun Ark which the kids got to load with animals. I even did the water rain, even though we were told it was best not to do that since there might be a mess because of the little kids. But indeed it was fun. The kids enjoyed it.

Day 1: His Grace, Our Obedience (Genesis 6-7)
God created us to be near to Him.  Children will see the difference in how God made man compared to every other living thing in creation. They will also look at the story of Noah in a new way and see how he walked with God even though no one else in his generation did.  Children will learn that we are only able to be close to God through His grace and the favor He gives us.  Our response should be to walk in obedience.

Two of my kids gave me wild flowers today. How precious.

Day Two begins tomorrow! Whoooo!
I'm cheering for team Green and orange

My daughter is in team Green and my son is in Team Orange.

I think all the kids are placed in age appropriate groups.  I think there were six teams!
Purple, Blue, Red, Yellow, Orange and Green!

The music is awesome! Go Fish Guys simply rock praise and worship!

The team members worked great! And I felt like I was part of something wonderful.

It's funny that for the past two years I have volunteered in VBS and has gotten better to being in the lead of my team, where as when I first started I was so awkward and shy!

This time, I prayed for my team and our hearts before each day.

And I did volunteer for the past two years so that my daughter could enjoy being part of the program because she wasn't yet attending school.

Now that she is in Kindergarten (will be going into first grade), I figured I'd just sign them up and be that parent that come pick them up at the end of the program and get regaled with all the awesomeness that went on.

God had other plans :)
The Children's Ministry Leader called to ask if I could volunteer this year also. So much for my easy escape.

But I'm so glad I accepted. It was a blessing for me.

And this year it's going to be way better!!
Whooo!

Did you attend VBS as  a kid? Did your children? 

Welcome to today's music.  I hope Monday find you with a smile and music to begin your week with light steps. 
I'm always coming to visit everyone on the linky so don't worry if I'm a bit late! 

CONGRATULATIONS to this week's spotlight dancer!
Don't forget to visit the spotlight dancer in the #1 spot. Soon it might be your turn. 
Spotlight Dancers
Thank you for visiting and I'll visit you soon! 

Hosts: 
Colette @JamericanSpice
Marie @XmasDolly
and 

Honorary Co-host: 
Michelle aka Naila Moon!  Thanks Naila

Steps:
1. Visit YouTube (or other) and get your music for the theme of the week
2. Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button (above) 
3. Add your post to the linky - follow the hosts and grab our buttons. Leave a note so we can follow you back
4. Visit each other and leave a comment or whatever you want to do to let them know you were there. See if they have the same music style as you. Enjoy the music! 

You can also join 
Inspire Me Monday


Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

iPad with Retina Display 16GB #Giveaway

I thought I wanted an iPad, but I'm still not sure. Not only because of the price, but I'd want something that actually works!
Anyway come check out this great shot at an iPad with Retina Display Prize!

Welcome to the iPad with Retina Display Giveaway Event Sponsored by Parcelbound.com

Do you live overseas and enjoy shopping in the Unites States?
Do you run your own eCommerce site and need to ship to international customers?
Do you have loved ones overseas and wish to send gifts to them as safely and inexpensively as possible?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then Parcelbound.com is for you!! Watch this video below and find out how.
Parcelbound is a top rated international package forwarding company. They provide great savings to international customers wanting to shop on all their favorite USA websites stores, and saving them up to 75% on international shipping costs! Parcelbound's service is also great for USA residents wanting to ship gift to friends/family living overseas. 

Get your own Parcelbound USA shipping address today!
This giveaway is open worldwide and the winner will receive the iPad plus if you are outside the US you will receive FREE international/domestic shipping to show how the Parcelbound service works. Giveaway ends July 11, 2013 at 11:59pm est.

One lucky winner will receive an iPad with Retina Display 16GB!!

Organized by: Mom Powered Media
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. JamericanSpice is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This event was organized by MomPoweredMedia please contact tina@babycostcutters.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!


Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sci-WHAT? - 4Ms #Music Fest

Turns out I do not know anything about Sci-fi anything, so I had to google.

I tried watching Doctor Who and I was / am not sure what to think of it. Seems everyone else is raving about it.

Maybe I should try Star Wars or one of those others. Oh well. There's a good reason we are all different. Plus I prefer books :)

So here is a tune: )

Theme is Sci-fi Tunes!

Welcome to today's music.  I hope Monday find you with a smile and music to begin your week with light steps. 
I'm always coming to visit everyone on the linky so don't worry if I'm a bit late! 

CONGRATULATIONS to this week's spotlight dancer!
Don't forget to visit the spotlight dancer in the #1 spot. Soon it might be your turn. 
Spotlight Dancers
Thank you for visiting and I'll visit you soon! 

Hosts: 
Colette @JamericanSpice
Marie @XmasDolly
and 

Honorary Co-host: 
Michelle aka Naila Moon!  Thanks Naila

Steps:
1. Visit YouTube (or other) and get your music for the theme of the week
2. Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button (above) 
3. Add your post to the linky - follow the hosts and grab our buttons. Leave a note so we can follow you back
4. Visit each other and leave a comment or whatever you want to do to let them know you were there. See if they have the same music style as you. Enjoy the music! 

You can also join 
Inspire Me Monday



Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Not Your Parents’ Scooby Doo - How To Protect Your Children

This is why I monitor why my children read and watch. They LOVE to read and read way ahead of their age group, so I have to know what it is they are reading and watching.

Lately they've been asking to watch Teen Titans. It's a firm no. Why? I haven't yet seen it. And I really don't have the time.

Sharing the article below with permission. No compensation.
broadcasting,changes,channel surfing,channels,controls,entertainment,equipment,Fotolia,leisure,media,multimedia,Photographs,remote controls,remotes,technologies,televisions,tv,views,watches,watching
How do you monitor what your children watch or read? 

Not Your Parents’ Scooby Doo
What happens when the TV shows you grew up on are deemed by experts as “unsafe”

By George Drinka, MD
In a flurry of articles published in the LA TimesUSATodayDeseret News and elsewhere, journalists report a surprising finding as described in a recent article in the scholarly journal Pediatrics.

Certain popular cartoons, like “Bugs Bunny,” “Sponge Bob,” and “Scooby Doo,” seem to have a negative effect on children age 3 to 5. The same study describes a positive effect of other shows like “Dora the Explorer,” “Curious George,” and “Sesame Street.” Though the first group of shows is not actually named in the scholarly article, the lead researcher gets specific in a follow-up interview published in the Huffington Post.

What is the negative effect?

The effect is on children’s sleep. Kids who watch cartoons like “Scooby Doo” are more likely to experience sleep disturbance than kids who watch “Curious George.”

Why the difference?

Per the researchers, the difference is related to the amount of violence in the one set of shows versus the other. Old Scooby is actually quite violent, Curious George not so much. In “Bugs Bunny,” the characters are always slapping each other around. In “Dora the Explorer,” barely ever.

How was the research done?

Researchers at the University of Washington randomly selected families of kids age 3 to 5 in the Seattle area. They negotiated with more than 500 families to let interventionists enter these families, analyze their media viewing habits, and induce the parents to complete questionnaires about the sleep habits of their kids. About half the sample group was randomly selected to work to turn off violent cartoons and focus their kids on more educational and pro-social shows like “Sesame Street” and “Dora the Explorer.”

The intervention lasted 12 months. The children’s sleep habits were reassessed at six, twelve and eighteen months from the start of the intervention. Those in the intervention group, generally speaking, were sleeping better.

Were parents aware of the violence?

The difference in violence levels caught the parents unawares. After all, to most adults the violence of Bugs seems comic, not serious. Not so for kids, it seems. Children are more concrete, more literal, the authors of the scholarly article suggest. They are prone to seeing comic violence as potentially frightening, anxiety inducing, similar to how actor-mediated violence often impacts on older children and even adults.

Take-away lessons:

The authors draw two conclusions. First, due to the way the research was developed, they contend that watching more violent cartoons can cause sleep disturbance in young children. We’re not simply talking about correlation, but causation. Second, parents should be aware of these deleterious effects and act accordingly. After all, the researchers point out, poor sleep for children is associated with other ill effects like behavioral and emotional problems, later school difficulties and even obesity.

Should parents be alarmed?

Perhaps not exactly alarmed, since further research needs to be done to validate the study’s findings. But they should be concerned about the ill effects of media violence on their children. After all, there is an abundance of research that underscores this point in regard to other forms of media violence. Further, the problems with media violence on kids may begin very early in life, even in their cartoon days.

Finally, parents must be aware of their own desensitization to this violence. Many parents grew up watching the same or similar cartoons and are unaware of how it impacted on them. Slowly but clearly, media violence has crept into the lives of many American families. We see it as part and parcel of our lives, or at least our media lives. We even consider it a laugh.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

George Drinka, M.D. is on the clinical faculty of the Oregon Health Sciences University and in private practice in Portland, Oregon. He has published book reviews in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and has written for the New York Times Book Review. His column, When the Media is the Parent, is published online at Psychology Today.


Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Fruity Refreshment - A Jamaican Delight

When I was in my country, I loved the refreshing taste of a cold coconut. I'd drink the water and then use a straw to suck the food out. If it was too hard for sucking, you can ask for it to be husked and get the food part to chew. Just as good and refreshing.

I miss having this so much. I've tried ones here in America and it's not at all appetizing.

I didn't know the health benefits then, but now I know:


Have you a real coconut drink?
Do you use coconuts in your recipes? 

The Health Benefits of Coconut Water !
*******************************
Coconut water was used as a “universal donor”, making it identical to human blood plasma. It was used in the Pacific War to save thousands of lives through Coconut IV’s, and emergency plasma transfusions.

Surprisingly, Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk. Its crammed with Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to block out fatigue.

Coconut water could potentially be the greatest energy drink in the world, to top it off, it’s all-natural. Coconut water contains more potassium than the majority of energy drinks. The chloride it holds is at 118g, and it’s natural sugars extent to about 5mg.

Most importantly, coconut water contains less sodium than any other energy drink.

We've been missing Aloha Friday. If you are missing it, then do hang out with Pamela - and I and we'll visit y'all too.
You can also take part in Amanda's Two Question Thursday which is going strong many years now.

We'll continue in honor of Kailani's fun rules: 
“Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your Aloha Friday post link below. Also, please consider linking back to this post so that others can join in, too! Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!” – Kailani

For more Wordless/Wordful Wednesdays check out Judy's Thoughts and 5 minutes for moms, and Parenting by Dummies and Go Graham Go and Stacy Uncorke

  
And we are doing the Sillies of course :)
Photobucket
Read more on Laughter
I'm not a doctor, this post is just for my benefit.

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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